Otranto, the easternmost town of Italy, owes its fame to its ancient hamlet.
You can enter it through ‘Porta Terra’, a door into a bastion – recently renovated – from the Napoleonic period. Walking along Corso Garibaldi, the main ancient street made of paving stones, you will see a series of souvenir and clothing shops, artisanal workshops, etc. on both sides of the street.
The Cathedral stands on the highest spot of the city with its 54 meters in length and 25 meters in height. Its big Renaissance rose window will fascinate you but the interior will actually leave you breathless: the gorgeous ceiling coffer made of golden wood on a black and white background, and above all the 16 meter long ‘Tree of Life’ mosaic covering the entire floor, made by the monk Pantaleone in the XII century. The right nave houses a chapel with a glass shrine containing the bones of the eight hundred martyrs killed by the Turks for they had refused to convert to Islam during the invasion of 1480.
Not to miss: the Aragonese Castle with its defensive walls, the Basilica of S. Peter, and the ‘Clock Tower’ built in 1799 and embellished by the coat of arms of the town.
In the centre of Otranto you may take a ‘delicious’ break at one of the several ice cream parlours, cafes, and delicatessens. Alternatively, you may take a quick swim in the crystal waters of the town’s beach or simply take the sun.
Do you wish to visit Otranto?